Bison Chorizo Poppers

Is it still a popper if the jalapeño is sliced in half? Maybe not, but it sure makes them a lot easier to prepare − and to eat. The distinctive flavor of the chorizo and the heat of the chile are mellowed by the melted queso.

Elk Skirt Steak Tacos with Tomatillo Avocado Sauce

Elk skirt steak is my new favorite meat (for right now anyway). The cuts are very thin, quite lean, and grill almost instantly. The rich and moderately-gamey flavor is a perfect base for the acidic character of the tomatillo sauce and the kick of Serrano chiles. These big game tacos are a perfect tailgating or Super Bowl-watching food.

Whitetail Short Rib Sopes with Roasted Squash and Poblano Cream

Words fail me. This dish is rich, earthy and difficult to describe. The beer-braised whitetail short ribs are succulent and decadent. The roasted butternut squash is sweet and hearty, and the poblano cream sauce provides the perfect complement of smokiness with a touch of heat. Served together in small Mexican masa bowls called sopes, they make a mouth happy. The recipe may seem a little involved, but you can prepare the sauce, braise the whitetail, and roast the squash a day in advance, leaving very little work for the day of your party.

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate and Fresh Savory

A simple pomegranate wine reduction elevates succulent lamb by adding the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness to the richly flavored meat. Fresh savory rounds out the dish with its peppery and herbaceous qualities while creating a festive color combination with the bright pomegranate seeds.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

I recently had the pleasure of dining at “The Tipsy Pig” in San Francisco. Their Caramelized Brussels Sprouts appetizer was a real stand out. This dish, inspired by the original, makes a great side for a festive meal. My take emphasizes the crispy leaves from the original. Bacon, Romano cheese and Tuscan bread make it a hearty dish with a “gravitas” that is appropriate for the seaso

Blistered Tomato Salad

The simple ingredients for this salad are brought to life over the fire of the grill. The grape tomatoes, while naturally sweet, become even sweeter from the heat. They are complemented beautifully by briny olives, flavorful cheese, fresh thyme and grilled bread.

Grilled Soft Shell Crabs with Corn and Leek Relish

Soft shell crabs are in season in August, and they are great off the grill. The shells become bright red and crispy over the fire. The relish of grilled corn and leeks, with a hint of champagne vinegar, makes a perfect pairing.

Spit-Roasted Leg of Lamb over Grits and Tomatoes

I have been meaning to share a rotisserie recipe, and the time has finally come. I cooked this lamb on the spit with an apple wood fire going in the grill down below, but you can certainly use an infrared rotisserie burner for a more conventional approach.

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